Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day and the world's tiniest squatter

Sorry, News Tribune. This tube is taken.

This year, I’ll be sharing Mother’s Day with another mama who has recently taken up residence on our property. You might call her a squatter, although I think she’s far too cute for that title. She’s a teacup-sized bird who built a nest and laid itty-bitty eggs inside the newspaper tube not 12 inches from our front door.

I suppose we owe her presence to our extremely soggy spring weather—a couple of months ago, I stashed my soaked umbrella in the tube after a downpour. I guess the folds of fabric made the space cozier, because right away, a birdie couple got busy building a sweet little nest on top of the damp umbrella. They worked quickly, layering bits of branches, pine needles, and dryer lint. And I bought a new umbrella.

I’ve been watching this process unfold with interest and a healthy dose of skepticism. Why on earth would any sane mom choose to build her nest right next to our bustling front door that gets slammed 100 times a day (and right at 4 year old eye level, no less)? She might as well have picked Grand Central Station. I thought for sure she’d recognize her mistake and trade the tube for a quieter, more peaceful location, out of the reach of screeching toddlers and inquisitive little fingers.

But sure enough, she actually laid eggs and is roosting in there as I type. As most people know, I’m not really a bird person. At all. (Remember our woodpecker drama from earlier this spring?) Despite this, I can’t help but feel a kinship with this tiny mama who chose to build her nest so close to mine. I’d like to share some parenting wisdom (“You think sitting on eggs is tough? JUST WAIT!”) but I’ll settle for watching her little family from a safe distance. And maybe offering her some extra dryer lint.

She's so tiny and really hunkered down, making her almost impossible to see. And I don't want to shove a camera in her face. But I did my best to get a picture without freaking her out.

Happy Mother’s Day to mamas everywhere, big and small! We all deserve it.


Julie Gates said...

Adorable post. Love the bigger picture you pose here which makes us think about the sacrifice it takes to mother any creature on this earth... and how natural it is to protect our little chicks at all costs. Maybe you'll become a bird person after all. :)

Farmor said...

Love you little post, can't wait to see you and the bird Mommy on Saturday.

Marisa said...

That is so cute!!!

Darcie said...

this reminded me of the robins that built a nest in the hanging basket I got for Mother's Day last year. It was hanging right by our front door. It was so fun to watch! There were four eggs and three babies. They all flew off one day. We named the mom "Porcha"
Makes this drab Spring a little more interesting.